Youngsters Move Up The Ladder With RSF Funding

by Joe Hudson
Rowland will move into Formula Renault 3.5 (Credit: Racing Steps Foundation)

Oliver Rowland and Ben Barnicoat have been announced as big movers in the world of motorsport as the Racing Steps Foundation (RSF) revealed the movements of its drivers.

Rowland, who was runner up in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, will move to the top step of Renault racing – the World Series – following a solid three day test in one of the machines at Aragon.

Rowland, a former McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner, said: “Formula Renault 3.5 with a top team like Fortec is a fantastic opportunity for me. I can’t thank the Foundation enough for the continued backing they are providing me with.

“I think my style of driving is well-suited to the car and together with Fortec I know we have what it takes to challenge for wins and the title.

“Clearly it’s not going to be easy but they won the title in 2012 with Robin Frijns in his rookie year and were runners-up this year with Stoffel Vandoorne, who was also a rookie, which shows it’s perfectly possible.”

A few steps down the ladder and you will find Barnicoat, following a successful season in both karting and the Formula Renault Autumn Cup. He will move to the Formula Renault NEC with Fortec and will aim to compete in non clashing Formula Renault ALPS rounds.

Barnicoat said: “I’ll be approaching the NEC in exactly the same way as I’ve started every season and series I’ve raced in – with the intention of fighting for the title.

“Jake Dennis won it in his first year with Fortec, as did Matt Parry this year so I’ll certainly be trying my hardest to do the same in 2014 which would make it three in a row for the team.”

There are also two RSF drivers that haven’t had 2014 plans confirmed yet but the hope is that Jake Dennis will move up to the F3 Euro Series to a team as of yet unconfirmed. Joining Dennis in the unconfirmed pile is Jack Harvey – following an alright GP3 season the Brit will be flying to Barber Motorsports Park in America to take part in an Indy Lights test for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

One man who has left the RSF programme now is GP2 star James Calado, the Force India test driver has finished his time in the programme and has stepped away.

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